Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trash Talk

What's your garbage like? Okay, maybe that is a little personal, but here on the farm, we are always trying to find ways to keep from having much trash. We live in a county without any public garbage collection and, while we like the folks who have a private service, there is something about paying someone to carry off our waste that we find, well, foolish.

Years ago I read Plain and Simple, a sweet little book about a woman who went to live with the Amish in hopes of finding her own inner peace. While the book itself is charming, one thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that one of the Amish families she boarded with only had one small can of trash from an entire family of ten once a week. That was awe inspiring!

Since then, I have tried to find ways to cut our waste -- less packaging, recycling, and such. Today, I had the unpleasant task of hauling away two months of trash and recycling -- built up because we have been so busy managing the fires in our lives that we couldn't get to the dump. We had 10-20 gallon garbage bags and five totes of recycling. Not really bad when you consider how much other folks have.

Here's what we do:

We keep a small bucket in the kitchen for the leavings from salads and baking. This is goes either to the worms to the compost bin. Any food scraps go right to the hens. They love any treats and often greet me at the back door and follow me like the Pied Piper to the coop. 

A small metal trash can is kept in the kitchen for recycling. When the can is full, it is taken to porch and the lidded bins. We sort as we go so it is a small task (unless the bins are knocked over) to take to the recycling center and dump each into its proper receptacle.

Truthfully, I haven't done well with the worms, but I think it is how I was managing them. I have ordered more and am going to work more diligently to keep these guys going. I love the idea of having my own fertilizer from waste, don't you?

On the way to the stable, we have two compost bins built from old 4 x4s that are NOT pressure treated. They are stacked, log cabin style, which allows the air to circulate as well as gives the hens a play pen. Having it on the way to the stable is very convenient as I can combine trips. 

Managing our trash is a simple thing, now that we have our systems in place. It hasn't been easy to figure out how to reduce our waste, but we are well on our way to having very, very little. And this makes me happy.

How do you manage your waste?


  1. Hi Matty, hope you are having a nice weekend, and didn't lose any of your posts or comments the day of the Blogger meltdown. I lost my Wednesday post and 8 comments but eventually the post popped back on. It is fascinating how you handle all of your garbage. We are out in the country too. Our county just recently decided to allow recycling bins in a few of our outlying areas as a test. It is so much easier now that we have them. They pick up every two weeks. I hope they will continue to expand the idea. Our trash was cut in half when we started recycling. Hope you have a nice saturday ahead! Delisa :)

  2. Hi Matty, it's me again, I also wanted to tell you that I ordered the Ann Budd knitting book you have on your "I Recommend" widget and I just love it! It is a great book and answered a lot of little questions that I couldn't find the answers to online and in my other books. Thanks for the recommendation! Delisa :)


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!